A sneek peek at Madison Magazine’s 2023 redesign

A note from editor Andrea Behling on Madison Magazine's 2023 revamp, debuting in the January issue.

Madison Magazine will debut a redesign in the January 2023 issue, and I’m excited to give you more details about the changes ahead. Our last big redesign was at the beginning of 2020, but the pandemic makes it feel like that was much longer ago than it was. Creative Director Tim Burton — whose creative vision has shaped the magazine during his 20 years here — takes the lead on reimagining the look of the book. But with a new look comes some editorial changes, too.

To start, we’re introducing two new pages. Vibe, replacing our “In the 608” story spot, will be a staff-selected standalone image that elicits a shared feeling, provides a strong sense of place and can definitely be described as “a vibe.” Good Question is a new editorial-leaning piece that will answer an interesting question specific to the Madison area every month.

Two other pages are getting new names and new regular writers. Go. See. Do. is the new name for our A&E page, and you’ll see bylines on this page from contributing writers Jeff Oloizia and Aaron R. Conklin. This is Oloizia’s second year writing monthly A&E content for the magazine, and Conklin has been a longtime local theater contributor to madisonmagazine.com. Both have their fingers on the pulse of the Madison area’s music, theater and visual arts scenes. Creative Process (formerly Madison Maker) will still feature a talented local artist every month through words and pictures, but you’ll start seeing a lot of Katie Vaughn bylines on this page. Vaughn is a former managing editor of Madison Magazine and for many years wrote an award-winning visual arts blog for madisonmagazine.com.

Continue to expect columns from Doug Moe and John Roach, both stalwart Madison Magazine guys (the former being the editor from 1991 to 1997, the latter being the back page columnist for 30 of Madison Magazine’s 44-year history). They’re just getting new column names: Moe’s Person of Interest column that profiles an interesting local personality is now Doug Moe’s Madison, the same name as the weekly blog he writes for madisonmagazine.com. It sometimes feels like it’s Doug Moe’s Madison we’re living in; the prolific profiler probably knows (and writes about) every person worth knowing in Madison. And Roach’s column has a new name: For What It’s Worth, which is a phrase he uses often when sharing his well-read column online. The short phrase is all that’s needed alongside his columns, which open the floodgate to always passionate — sometimes heated — community conversations.

We’ve parted ways with two monthly features: Innovation, which zeroed in on Madison area’s startup scene, and Abode, a monthly home feature. Abode played a particular role during pandemic times when home renovations were hot. We’ll still find a spot for home features when they come along. The same goes for startup coverage — it’s a sector that will not go overlooked in our reporting throughout the magazine. Innovation columnist and Madison Magazine Senior Editor Maggie Ginsberg will further explain the decision to cap a seven-year-run on Innovation in her last startup column in the December issue.

A few pages we barely touched because we like them just the way they are: The Essayist, which is spot for nonfiction essays written by guest authors (you can submit yours for consideration here); Hot List, which is a collection of monthly editors’ picks; and Looking Back (formerly History Lesson), which is a historical photo and vignette written by Ginsberg. We have plans to launch a new Facebook group connected to our Looking Back content that will act as an online hub for the community to share Madison area memories.

That just leaves our food section, BITE, which might be undergoing the most change with the entrance of new associate editor Emma Waldinger. She oversees the magazine’s dining and drink coverage, and she’s establishing a new writing style throughout the section. Expect a bigger focus on the dining experience, the behind-the-scenes industry players and the small details specific to the Madison area’s culinary landscape. The section will soon start with a star dish followed by a feature on our chosen restaurant of the month — we’re calling this the First Course. After that palate cleanser, you’ll be taken into Let’s Dig In, which is a new-and-improved version of Where to Eat Now that expands upon a food theme with curated restaurant lists and spotlights. Made Here will become Locavore’s List, which will continue to highlight locally made food products, farmers and other culinary tidbits, all wrapped up into a list format. And BITE will end on a note from Waldinger in her new first-person column, Back of House. She’ll weave together personal anecdotes with timely reporting and analyses that give you an insider’s look into the Madison-area food scene.

Our intention with these changes is to continue sharing a wide range of content in modern and engaging formats. We hope Madison Magazine is the monthly publication you reach for to become better connected to your community, learn something new, find your next dinner spot, enjoy a well-written Sunday read and be reminded of the beauty in the shared human experience. Our goals will remain to entertain, inform and inspire community discourse and participation in Madison and the surrounding areas.

We’re able to do what we do in large part because of a supportive advertising community that’s full of business owners who share a lot of the same values. Madison is a great community, and I’m happy and thankful to be a part of a publication that champions, challenges and advances that notion.

One way you can support the magazine is to subscribe to get the magazine in your mailbox every month. (Fun mail!)

Thanks for reading — I can’t wait to get the January issue in your hands.

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